Tim Twentyman: Stefan Logan doesn't expect to return kicks Sunday

Posted Dec 27, 2012

After an egregious mental mistake in the Detroit Lions' 31-18 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, returner Stefan Logan told reporters he doesn't expect to return kicks against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

Stefan Logan committed an egregious mental mistake at the end of the Falcons game last week and it appears it's going to cost him his return duties.

The blunder came at the 1:21 mark of the fourth quarter with the Lions trailing 31-18 after getting the ball back following a safety. Logan lost track of where he was on the field and inexplicably downed the ensuing free kick at the Lions 4-yard line.

"That's probably the first time I've seen somebody concede a punt in the field of play like that. It's a poor decision," Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said earlier this week.

"Part of a returner's job is to know where he is on the field. Saying 'I didn't know where I was, I thought I was in the end zone,' is not a valid excuse. Your job as a returner is to know where you are on the field, particularly after we had gotten a safety."

Logan told reporters Thursday that it is no longer his job.

"I won't be (returning kicks) this Sunday," he said. "I'm mad, but at the same time there's nothing I can do about that. That's coach's decision. I blame myself. I'm not blaming the coaches, I blame myself. I'm my worst critic."

"It was a messed up play by me and I have to live with it and move on from it. It's just a bad play by me and I have to pay the consequences and I have to live with it. I just have to work through it and just be ready for whenever your opportunity comes back up."

The Lions have been waiting for the same spark from Logan that made him a Pro Bowl alternate in 2010, but it simply hasn't developed this season.

Logan ranks last in the NFL with a 21.3 average on kickoff returns and is 16th on punts (9.1).

"Things happen. I didn't lose the game," Logan said of his gaffe in the eventual 31-18 loss. "The game was already over. So it's not like I lost the game for us, but you can look at it however you want to look at it. We've all struggled as a team so far. Not just one individual.

"I'm like the quarterback on special teams. When the camera goes on special teams it comes straight to me so if anything happens on special teams as far as muffing a punt or a guy running into me or something like that it's going to be my fault because the light is on me."

Schwartz said earlier in the week that receiver Mike Thomas (both kickoff and punt) and running back Joique Bell (kickoff) have return capabilities and could step into those roles this week.

Logan said he is still looking forward to being part of the offensive game plan vs. Chicago, which he has been a bigger part of in recent weeks because of injuries.  He has three receptions and a 13-yard run over the teams last two games.

Logan said he hopes to be with the Lions next season after spending the last three years with the team, but admitted that was out of his hands now.

"I'll just keep moving forward whether it's with Detroit or another team," he said.